Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nothing new but i said id keep this stuff updated

Really the title says it all, Champery feels like home, nice coming back to a venue you know well.

Had the team photo today, its on Canadian Cyclist, Sun was glaring off my melon pretty good ruining the photo for anyone near me, My bad,

Team relay tomorrow, gonna be sick.

Course is good, roots are slick as a button, doesn't' take long to remember to keep your weight centered and not use your front brake much.

umm, so yeah, stay awesome

Monday, August 29, 2011

The pillows are too big

In Switzerland, did some banking already had to launder that big stack from the Georgian Bay open. Crashed pretty good last night(sleeping wise not riding),

Now its time to hit the track,

More later.

View from the room, not bad, if thats your kinda thing.

Course is good, they've taken out some of the more awkward sections, added more "flow" as they'd say in Ontario. Roots are slick, im not used to sliding around, stupid nice dry weather at home.

happy birthday to Benno,

Bummed I missed what could be the final HAN, gonna need to find one somewhere else later in the season to keep the solo dreams alive.

so yeah, guess thats it for now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Snow eh? *update*

Bags are packed, glad im not trying to fly out of new york. Reading some weather reports via facebook/juniors with wifi, i packed some extra pieces of warm clothes.

Big thanks to Havy for a last minute rebuild of my bike,

I was gonna say something else but now i forget......Now I remember I was going to make a crack about Hopefully Ontario gets to have a referendum regarding HST and the outcome is similiar to BC....but i wont because i dont want to anger any of my liberal freinds.

Oh oh, Chris Del Bosco is on the DH team, crazy, well not that crazy but cool to have a winter olympian on the team.

Also got a PK session on the new serfas light systems which are available now, crazy good value, think ill be buying myself a little post season present.


Stay excellent

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Teeny Tiny race change

So my dreams of 24 hour solo glory have been put on hold. Woke up this morning and started getting things ready for the 24 hour this weekend, 2 hours later I had a ticket to Zurich in my inbox.  Very long story of how this came to be, but needless to say I'm very happy and proud to represent Canada at the World Championships next weekend.

Leaving on Saturday, already upgraded to a pod, so I'll hopefully be able to finally crush some sleep on a trans atlantic evening flight.

thats really all I have to say, guess ill just go crush some euros, cause Evan says they're no big deal.

oh oh, also quick film review, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in a word awesome. James Franco is definitely no Charlton Heston but he does an alright job. A few throwbacks to the original storyline was nice, overall I loved it, the CGI was great and even better it wasn't' in 3D.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just a bike ride

Its been a couple of crazy days, luckily i gave been able to get on my bikes for rides, not fast rides, not slow rides, not training rides, just rides.

Quote of the year

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Sunday, August 21, 2011

8 hours of the 9 hour mountainview relay

Sipping some coffee watching the Vuelta not in hd, but i will say it looks sunny and warm in Spain today.....looks like Fugslang is in the leaders jersey, side note I used to crush him at world cups NBD.

First I'd like to say props to all the Canucks for crushing Val di Sole. Especially Kika for another win and the youngins Marc Antoine and Evan for some solid finishes.

Summer seems to be winding down a little here, all those thunderstorms we kept getting promised the past two weeks finally arrived yesterday at around 12:30 in the afternoon. Day started with Matt and I arguing about where the sun will move in the sky and whether or not 1.5 liters of fluid an hour is too much. (i think it is)

Anywho got started, solo field was stacked, Jacob, Matt 24 Solo Ontarios premier endurance racer, &  Lee, it was gonna be a death match. After a few guys missed some turns I was sitting in 2nd overall. And had a little gap on the rest of the solos. It was a lot of fun just riding fast not crazy hope i don`t crash at this speed fast just easy speed.

Got settled into a pace, about 4 or 5 laps came through and Matts bike was on his car. that was fast. For the first few hours I was rocking the full unzipped jersey, so nice, then the clouds started rolling in each lap at the top I could see the sky getting a little darker. About 3 hours in started to rain, no big deal it was super sandy, but it didn`t take long to turn to grease. And then the thunder and lightning came, I was gonna pull over and sit  in my car, but didn`t have to make that call as they closed the course. I love modern day safe races. Not like the 90s where the commissars would tell us to be careful before starting in a lightning storm at chicopee.....

Got changed and washed my bike during the rain delay, Tmas figured it would be an hour. It was tough getting motivated to get back on the bike. So much so i actually missed the restart. Got on my bike, dry shoes and gloves were key, legs were angry for sure.

Managed to get another 5 or 6 laps in before 6:30, pulled the plug at 6:20, when the rain started to come down again. Took my second career 8 hour win. First being pleasure valley 1998.

In summary 8 hour races are awesome you just go out and ride your bike, and win a snow white pez dispenser.

17 laps of mountainview was awesome

22-25 of Albion might not be as awesome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gettin crushed

Taking a day off the bike after a couple nights of getting killed on the bike. Tuesday I headed into town for the Sunnidale ride, after telling everyone how big a deal I was now that I won the ECO, everyone decided to turn the screws and put me in my place....at the back of A singled out death line. I was dog tired but managed to hang on and have some fun.

Last night I finally got down to one of Matt P's wednesday night races at King. trails have smoothed out a ton, there is some serious "flow" going on in there. Little did I know Sean Ruppel was going to show up super fit and ready to kill it. He crushed the first lap it was all I could do to hang on, then he kinda faded and we were evenly matched coming down to a sprint finish, Im going to take the high road and not say that he pushed me into the brush to win.

Awesome riding down there, good people, super relaxed atmosphere,only downside really is that its in Toronto,

on tap is a little shakedown ride at the 9 hour, Tristan bailed on me to do a triathlon, so I guess im doing it solo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I like to do a little editing on weekends, I recently cut three minutes out of goodfellas.

AKA alpe d'uez of Grey County, actually there are zero switchbacks and its not steep but it sounds epic. One of my favorite road courses.

The weather was a little dicey, but the rain held off and everyone who decided to get out of bed was happy they did. (i think)

There were only two of us who were keen on going in group 5, so we just got melted into group 4, didn't bother me any, with 5 minutes to group three and about 10 in each group, I figured that would be hard enough.

Got rolling, group was rotating nicely together for the first lap, everyone was pulling through and the group was moving pretty good, but maybe not as fast as it should have been on some of the flatter sections. When we got to the bottom of the climb after the first 40km loop, it was clear we hadn't put much time if any into group 3. Hit the climb, we were moving but not at "intercept pace" I went to the front and put down a nice hard tempo. I knew we would lose some guys but figured we needed to get some time into 3 if we were to catch.

Kept it rolling over the top, had 5 left from the original ten, who I think should have been group 5, but thats not my call. We settled into a nice little paceline and set off after the group ahead. Again a little too much coasting down hills and no real "chase" feel going on. Guys started skipping pulls. Managed to reel in what I thought was group 3, turned out to actually be 2. Any chase was pretty much given up at that point. Kinda just rolled the last 20km before the climb. Started to catch some of the riders I knew started in group 3. So it was clear they were putting the hammer down.

Hitting the climb they still had a solid gap, and all the guys who were skipping pulls and not working, started to try and get a chase going and shaking their heads when it didn't. A little late in my books. By the end of the climb a few of us were on the back markers from three but they managed to stay away.

The old s(andbagger) word was getting thrown around and maybe i thought so too. But thinking back, the later groups 4 or 5, just aren't chasing like we should be.

Awesome race, had a blast, thanks to Phil and the eagles for putting it on.

Fun weekend of racing all around. Pretty fried today, and glad I'm not driving to Collingwood for the 4th straight day.

on a possibly related note, my shoulder is sore and I feel like Ive been punched in the face by a tree, maybe that embryo entry crash was harder than I thought.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Countless firsts for this weekend

I'm going start this blog by saying hats off to Blue mountain and sir bikealot for being pumped for putting on an XC race at Blue which has tremendous potential to hold events. Everything other than course design/marking and maybe pre race info the weeks leading up to the race was top notch, they know how to host events.

The course was something I have never seen in 15 years of racing. Trails were amazing but the course was comprised of many loops within loops and one big loop that featured a two way out and back singletrack section. Usually this would require over/unders, bridges etc.. instead the loops figure 8'ed each relying on Marshall's to tell us which loop to enter.(and when to yield to other riders entering the criss/crossings) My hats off to these volunteer marshals who I know did their very best, and got it 95% right. But with multiple categories all doing different amounts of loops within loops into other loops there were definite errors. Again a lot of excitement for the race, they are jazzed to have an xc race but that was way way to complicated course design. I honestly don't know how that got a go ahead from the OCA commissairs. 

On to the race, small fields today I think that was owing to the lack of pre race info, laps, distances, feedzones etc. a lot of which wasn't set up till race day. I wasn't super stressed about the race, knowing how freaking hard the course was with old school type steep ski hill grass climbing imported from the 90's. The dh's were pretty straight forward. I knew if the pace was hard from the gun it wouldn't be a race, it would be an adventure with a result at the finish line. I decided on a Prefontaine strategy to make it hurt as much as possible and let the course decide how I finished. Pretty much took the holeshot and into the first climb, kept the hammer down.

Going over the top I kept the power on and opened a gap into the flatish singletrack before going back down. This was the one big epic loop we were on. I had no idea how much of a gap I had so i just kept racing like everyone was 20 seconds behind me.

Hitch number one, rolling along the flat bruce trail stuff at a good clip dodging hikers and nature walkers as they all swore at me when I went by, I really don't blame them no-one was there to tell them a 20 guys racing for more than a grand were gonna come screaming by(and masters, juniors, elite women). I did warn them all that a bunch more people were coming.

Continued on, hiccup number two, come to a three way trail section with tape all over the place in pieces. Marshall was there I asked him where to go, he didn't respond, I glanced to my left and saw course tape across the ski hill so I just bee lined it there. The rest of this loop was good the trails were a blast, Bombed down and back up the ski hill, looked back saw for a ways back and new I had a good lead.

#3, ah yes the two way out and back section, so started riding basically backwards on the course, which was nice cause all the masters I was dodging were able to cheer me on as we just laughed at each other. Some was doubletrack which was interesting but whatever safe enough if people keep their heads up.  But then I see KK bomb out of the singletrack dh, yup guy sends me up the steep singletrack, I asked what happens when someone comes down, he said tell them to stop. I kept my head up for sure listening for a bike to come, but luckily KK was last through and I didn't have to deal with dodging oncoming riders anymore.

Finished off the actually somewhat straightforward loop, which other than the two way thing would make a great loop on its own. Grabbed the one bottle I'd get for however long the race was going to be and headed down Embryo, a pretty mellow dh run, fast and fun. Hit the first figure 8, and got through ok, which had me continuing downward. Finished that up and new I would need to do another half climb back up, then descend to the finish. Thats what we were told at the start. Got into a nice goove heading back up, the second time up this grind was tough but when I got to the top I was relieved. This had me going through the figure 8 again. But I still knew where I was going.

Descend back down, thinking awesome I'm done, Nope get turned around before the last decent marshals saying I have to do another half lap. I was not a happy camper hearing that. But got back on course and pinning it, as I still had no idea what my lead was. Climbed for a bit then started crossing the ski hills to my pleasent surprise a marshal jumps infront of me and says down that trail, awesome it was like a half...half lap. Headed down a sketchy not really used trail almost smoked Etienne in another course crossing. Passed him crashed, but I was glad to be heading downhill at least. Came to the final lap point and the marshal said yeah your done finish is just down there, Crossed the line for my first MTB win since 2009 (glassford sprint provincials)

J-roc was second and Zach third so a nice Norco podium sweep.

I hope they do another xc race there, I really do I just hope the OCA keeps a close eye on it and they go with a more "normal" course design in the future.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stupid things that work

I'm talking about the laser I stole from Matt again, its this stupid blinking red light that makes me laugh whenever I consider that it will make me better. But like last year it has seemed to bring me back to the land of riding bikes.

Its like a reverse placebo effect, I don't believe in it, I throw it against the wall before using it, I curse at it, but it still works. I'm glad it works but I hate being wrong.

First ride since Saturday, minus easy spins on the rollers, I headed into the copeland for my 1 hour ish flat loop which Tammy says isnt flat, but its as flat as it gets in there. Good ride, tried the GoPro with the bar mount not bad.

Thats about all I have to report at the moment.

"why is it called the east coast open? we are nowhere near the east coast"

Friday, August 5, 2011

My knee hurts im grumpy

So Evan was good enough to cut togehter the crash which has pretty much gone viral in cycling world terms.

The part that gets cut out is pretty much this

Other than a knee which seems to be getting more bruised as the days go by, im good.

Got out to the TT last night, and i think I was able to hold Adam off, which is good as I dont like getting beaten by a 14 year old. Need to wait for the official results. Lots of race reports and other comupter/paper work so to speak this week.

Got out with KB to start getting caught up on all the films ive missed this summer. Being a sucker for the mythology of what marvel is creating with its Avenger franchise, hit up Captain America. Great flick, Chris Evans, Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones kill it.

Took starbuck for a long awaited swimming hole visit, I was tempted to jump in as well but realy the water there looks like it could have monsters in it, im not down with that.

Copeland tomorrow, then hopefully Kelso on sunday if the knee doesnt get to angry.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What this wasnt the actual Olympics?

What a month, looked at the calender today and its finally August, never thought id see the day. Final trip of the year is wrapping up, chillin with young Evan in Battlesbridge about to check out a bit of the olympics venues in the city. 

Race went really well, clean, no crashes or mechanicals. The start was crazy tons of guys sliding out. It was like to trying to start and turn on Ice it felt like. 

First two laps my legs were pretty angry at me, but we were told to just giver and if we got three good laps in good. Passed Nys early on my second lap with a flat, too fast to ask him if he was doing Cross this year. 

Got passed my japenese nemisis who is smaller than me but takes up more trail than anyone i know. And Evan, who i had yet to crush this year. Punk. 

Legs came around and before long I was moving up a couple spots a lap. Started to have a little fun out there to on the course. It was getting pretty "Blown Out" as Kabush would say.....  Big holes were forming and the pebbly rocks started to turn into big rocks littering the course. 

Another thing was the course marking was a little lax, allowing people to ride off course to gain some nice advantage. I think they want to keep the tape to a minimum for the cameras, but pin flags arent great at keeping people on course. 

I finished up strong, on such a short course and Absalon doing 12.5 minute laps i wasnt sure if id get yanked, but i didnt loose 4 minutes on the first lap like world cups so it was all good. 

team did awesome this week, easily the most amount of team training out there. Definetly no I in this team, Catherine crushed it for the win, Amanda rode strong and Evan who did about 18 tempo laps yesterday when i was in the medical tent took one for the team and signed autographs and posed for pictures for the last two laps of the race. 

Big giant thanks to Dan for giving me the oppourtunity to come here to help work towards some medals next year. If we get a medal im taking 3% of the credit. The Staff were amazing Scott Kelly, Mathieu And our COC contact Brian.

Awesome trip, nice way to cap off the international season, now to get home and consult the 8 ball on what races to do the next few months. 

And yes i need to change the title of the blog now.

" That was like a Nascar crash im surprised you didnt burst into flames "